Subjective concerns aside, how many people who design Bears consider the Golden Ratio when placing eyes, ears, nose and mouth?
I suppose the Golden Ratio could be used for body proportions too but I don't think it would apply so well because a Bear's proportions are a little "pudgier" than a human's. But, still, if you correct for the "pudge factor" the Golden Ratio could still be made to apply to the body.
I think the Golden Ratio applies more to the head and face than to the body. You can make a Bears arms a bit longer. (Better for hugging! ) You can make a Bears middle a bit thinner or pudgier. (More room for cookies! ) But, if a Bear's eyes aren't in just the right spot they can throw off his expression and make him look sad or mad or even a little bit drunk. :wacko:
Almost all humans intuitively recognize the Golden Ratio in art, photographs and design because we are so used to seeing it in virtually EVERYTHING we look at. Most people don't even know what the Golden Ratio is but they still get that sneaking feeling that "something isn't quite right" when they look at a work of art that doesn't obey the rule.
Not to say that the Golden Ratio can't be bent a little bit to achieve an effect you desire. That's probably what you refer to when you say that the ears convey emotion. If you move them just a little bit off the mark, it can make a happy Bear look sad or angry or it can make a boring Bear look perky.
It's funny you mention this now. I am working on my very first big bear and am right now at that critical ear stage. I keep pinning them and re-pinning. Each time I walk away I come back and think they need to be in a different spot. Hopefully someday this bear will get ears!! I completely agree that the positioning of a bears ears can drastically alter the look of the bear.
There's a great series of photos in Ted Menten's Teddy Bear Studio book which shows the effect of different sizes of eyes, different placements of eyes and different placements of ears. You can really change the expression moving them around. I usually use position eyes and some T-pins on the ears to shift things about until I'm happy with the expression. To the best of my knowledge none of them have looked drunk yet :crackup: